The evolving use of PoE enabled cameras

Chertsey, Surrey (UK)

Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology is now widely used across diverse security and surveillance applications. However, the latest version of the standard, first established in 2003, has evolved the technology’s capabilities to the point where security professionals are now able to find entirely new uses for PoE-enabled cameras and devices.

The PoE standard was first ratified by the IEEE in 2003, initially as 802.3af, and allowed a camera or other PoE device to receive up to 12.95 watts of power, with the second standard, 802.3at, doubling that to 25.5 watts.

Uri Guterman, Head of Product and Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe explains some of the benefits and uses of the technology and also offers ideas for some of the new applications which can now be achieved through evolving standards, faster network speeds and enhanced cameras. 

"PoE technology enables integrators to easily connect, configure and integrate different types of systems, without having to learn a whole new ‘language’ and without needing to run separate cabling to individual cameras and other devices. This offers significant cost-savings because you now don’t need to provide power at every camera location and you don’t need to run 18/2 copper cabling. Instead, you will have a single cable for the data and power, with the added bonus of making functions like UPS battery backup easier, because now it is all centralised.

For system integrators, requiring fewer cable runs to deliver power and network connection to a camera makes it much easier to design and install new video surveillance solutions, as well as expand existing systems.

There are also PoE extenders available which negate the need for a local 240-volt power source by lengthening the distance over which power can be delivered over PoE and there are ways to daisy chain these extenders to provide power over greater distances."

In fact, Guterman suggests that PoE technology can also do much more, if used properly.

"The technology can extend beyond cameras to include lighting, digital signage, clocks, access control, entry and access badging systems, encoders, decoders and Public View Monitors (PVMs) and many other devices.

Standards have evolved and now support higher network speeds of up to 10 gig and allow for more watts to be received. As the new standards have been released, manufacturers such as Hanwha Techwin, have kept pace by upgrading and enhancing its cameras to best take advantage of each technology leap. PoE+, for example, provides up to 25.5 watts over Cat5, whereas PoE can only offer up to 15.4 watts. The increase in wattage available via PoE+ means that sufficient power can be provided for heaters to operate within the housings of cameras designed to operate in low temperature environments. PoE+ can also be used to power a camera’s built-in Adaptive IR LED illuminators in order to focus IR light on far away objects and in doing so, enable the cameras to capture high quality images in night-time conditions."


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